Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Faculty of Arts Alumni Newsletter - Vol 2 Issue 1 2014


The Faculty of Arts is focussed on aligning our courses with current and future industry needs and very excited to be able to offer a wide range of new courses from 2015 through our newest Northern NSW campus, Port Macquarie. We are introducing courses in the areas of; Advertising, Gerontology, Graphic Design and Public Relations. 

We have had a busy session one and are eager to experience all that session two has to offer starting in mid July.

We look forward to keeping connected with you and encourage you to register with CSU Alumni and take advantages of the benefits available to you.

Margaret Woodward

Acting Executive Dean

Faculty of Arts

Senior Lecturer creates the sound of Lego

The worldwide success of The LEGO Movie is great news for budding film-makers, according to Faculty of Arts academic Mr Damian Candusso.

The senior lecturer in sound and multimedia in the School of Communication and Creative Industries in Wagga Wagga was one of the creative Australian minds behind the new movie.

The Oscar acclaimed and multi- award winning sound designer called on the assistance of his young sons and their toy sets to create unique sounds for the film.

"My sons' Duplo was used extensively for several of the Lego explosions," Mr Candusso said.

"I also had to buy some additional Lego and several toys that made weird and unique sounds that were used for some of the sound effects for Lord Business, one of the characters in the film."

"My kids have done well as these toys have now filtered down to them. Part of the fun was seeing their faces light up when I would rig up the toys with miniature microphones and then play them back to the Lego pictures."

With a production budget of $US60 million, the film has already made nearly $US400 million at the box office.

"Although I knew that the film would be a big success due to the Lego franchise, I didn't imagine that it would be this big" Mr Candusso said.

"This is great news for the Australian film industry. Warner Bros. Is already planning a sequel which will also be created here in Australia, with a release date in 2017.

"It's also great news for our students and graduates, films of this calibre and the lower Australian dollar make for a booming industry."

Mr Candusso has worked as sound designer for feature film work including The Great Gatsby, Happy Feet 2, Sanctum, The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ha'Hoole, Daybreakers, Australia and 79th Academy Award winner for best feature film, Happy Feet.

Read more about Mr Candusso recent successes in CSU News here


Alumni Spotlight- Communication Graduate works with remote communities around Australia and the world

Bachelor of Arts Communication (Theatre/Media) graduate Toby Finlayson has been working in remote indigenous communities around Australia and the world since 2003, and has also coordinated art programs in Sri Lankan tsunami refugee camps.

Mr Finlayson established Desert Pea Media (DPM) in 2002, a not-for-profit incorporated association dedicated to learning, building relationships and perfecting a process of working with young people in regional and remote areas of Australia. DPM focuses on the process of storytelling to empower young people and to create important social and cultural dialogue.

"Our programs create high quality and relevant media forms and therefore create real engagement with young people" Mr Finlayson acknowledged.

"We work with elders, young people, community leaders and local service providers to support and inform the content and create meaningful cultural dialogue and local and social issues" Mr Finlayson said.

Since the creation of DPM, Mr Finlayson has delivered a host of indigenous media programs.

"My job includes lots of administration, editing, post production and client liaison. 

During projects I will travel all around Australia filming and writing songs" Mr Finlayson continued.

Reflecting on his career to date and 12 years with DPM, Mr Finlayson credits a desire for change and strong moral compass grouped with his learning through his CSU course.

Desert Pea Media are about to release their first album compilation "Song Nation" which features hip hop tracks from 10 communities and 11 tracks featuring "the best in Indigenous contemporary culture and the new talent found in young people across regional and remote areas of Australia and Torres Straits Islands." 

You can buy the album here or listen to the Radio National profile on Desert Pea.

We thank and congratulate Mr Finlayson for sharing his experiences and the creation of Desert Pea Media. For more information on Desert Pea Media visit their website.

We would love to know what you are up to and you have used your CSU degree. 

Please let us know at or share your story with us on the share your story webform.

Faculty of Arts launches the Creative Regions Lab

The Faculty of Arts recently launched the Creative Regions Lab (CRL), a teaching and research hub that aims to drive the development of creative enterprises and activities in regional Australia. The Creative Regions Lab is an interdisciplinary initiative of the Faculty of Arts which aims to redefine creative activity in regional Australia through research, teaching and consultative projects.

Associate Professor Margaret Woodward, the acting Executive Dean of the CSU the Faculty of Arts, said, "The Creative Regions Lab is a teaching and research hub that aims to drive the development of creative enterprises and activities in regional Australia because innovative creative industries are needed to enrich and sustain a vibrant economic future in regional, rural and remote regions. It will explore the relationship between creativity, innovation, and regional living, and will redefine regional creative industries."

Following the launch by CSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Vann, guest speaker Professor Justin O'Connor, Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy at Monash University delivered a presentation titled 'Reframing Cultural Economy'.

Not only with the CRL project play an entrepreneurial role, but via its research it will also aim to influence policy development. It will play a central role in the uptake and application of digital technologies and will provide robust interdisciplinary research in order to understand and utilize the enablers of creative activity in regional Australia. The CRL aims to redefine creative industries in regional Australia with an expanded definition of creative activity that includes the creative interface between agriculture and national and international markets (Agri-tivity) and the integration of technologically advanced agriculture and manufacturing with high value services (Agri-services).


(L to R):Professor Justin O'Connor (guest speaker from Monash University) and CSU's Associate Professor Margaret Woodward, Associate Professor Chika Anyanwu, Professor Tara Brabazon, Professor Steve Redhead, and Professor Craig Bremner.

For more information about the CRL visit the website:

Students spend sixty minutes with '60 Minutes' reporter

Alison Langdon with students from CSU Bathurst campus | Image courtesy, Dave Rankin, "Bathurst City Life"

CSU Alumna and '60 Minutes' reporter, Ms Allison Langdon spoke to Journalism students in Bathurst on Tuesday 3 June about the future of journalism and her own career.

Journalism lecturer at CSU Bathurst, Ms Kay Nankervis, said, "It is always very rewarding for our students when former graduates return to speak to them about their experiences of the industry the students are studying to enter."

Ms Langdon shared insights with students about gaining employment into the media industry after completing University and spent some time answering a number of questions from the students.

Second year journalism student, Claudia Stevenson said, "It was amazing! I am so inspired and one day hope I can accomplish everything she has."

Tahlia Sarv also in the second year of her journalism course, agreed that the talk was very inspiring.

"Ms Langdon was very genuine and passionate about journalism. She was extremely inspiring and motivating. The talk reminded me of why I want to become a journalist", said Tahlia.

Ms Langdon completed her CSU journalism degree in 2000, and went on to a career in television news before joining the '60 Minutes' reporting team in 2011.

Historic road map 'found' online

Blue Mountains MapA 'lost' historic map of the first road over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst has been 'found' online by a CSU history researcher.

Dr Rob McLachlan, adjunct senior lecturer in history at the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been conducting research for Bathurst Regional Council in the lead-up to the 2015 bicentennial celebrations of the establishment of Bathurst as the first inland settlement in Australia.

Dr McLachlan's 'discovery' in May this year of a digital copy of the map on the National Archives (UK) website is remarkable because it was seemingly unknown to historians researching early inland developments. His find broadly coincides with the bicentenary of the July 1814 start of construction of the first road into the interior of Australia by a working party under the command of William Cox.

The road was completed by early 1815 and the then governor of New South Wales, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, travelled its length to the government depot where the road terminated on the banks of the Wambool River, then re-named the Macquarie River. Here he formally named the new settlement Bathurst on 7 May 1815.

"I have been working for Bathurst Regional Council over the past year or two researching and interpreting the first settlement site," Dr McLachlan said. "One of my tasks has been to locate early maps, plans and pictures of the early settlement and environs held by major libraries and archives, and then acquire high resolution digital scans for our now extensive digital collection.

"In early May this year I had a tip that the ground plan and front elevation of the Bathurst convict hospital might be held by the National Archives (UK) in London. I went online to have a look at their website, expecting only to find an archival reference to a file. But, feeling lucky, I thought I might just see if it was in their digital image library. This was long odds, but my luck was good and there was a digital full-colour copy of the plans.

"Surprised by my find, I carried on to see what else might be in their image library and after sifting through hundreds of entries, I came across something that was literally gobsmacking. It was the hitherto 'lost', or at least misplaced, map drawn up in 1815 showing the full extent of Cox's Road from Emu Plains all the way to Bathurst. Titled 'Map of the Country Westward of the Nepean River', it is an impressive hand-coloured but faded map measuring about 1.2 metres by .7 metre.

"This was the map that accompanied Macquarie's despatch to London in June 1815 reporting on the completion of the road and his trip to Bathurst in May."

Dr McLachlan was very puzzled by this map being on the Internet and, to the best of his knowledge, not referred to by any historians researching and writing about the history of Cox's Road. He made enquiries to leading historians of the road. All replied that this map was not known to them.

"They had never seen it before I brought it to their attention," he said. "In other words, this map is a fresh contribution to research about this famous foundation road. As well, it appears to be the only contemporary map of Cox's Road over its entire length. There is certainly no contemporary map showing how the road reached Bathurst from Campbell's River, but this map shows the route and is literally the missing link."

Dr McLachlan does not claim to have 'discovered' this map, but simply to have located it on the Internet in the collection of the National Archives (UK), and is now trying to make its existence known to historians and others interested in Cox's Road.

To find the map on the Internet, go to the National Archives (UK)'s Image Library search page. Search on CO 700/NEWSOUTHWALES24. 

A digital copy of the map can be purchased online for £35.



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